Fresh Meat: An interview with Tabzz



Tue 18th Jun 2013 - 8:12pm

Formerly Known as the King of Fizz , I had a chance to speak with Erick "Tabzz" van Helvert, who recently switched from the mid lane to the bottom, now playing AD Carry for Lemondogs.


How did Sinners Never Sleep (now Lemondogs) prepare for this event/other events, and what differed from the last LCS qualifiers?

Tabzz: We scrimmed a few hours every day and talked about strategies and teamcomps and how to improve our mistakes. We also soloqueued a lot to pick up new champions.


How is the practice schedule/regimen for a non LCS/amateur team, how big of an advantage do LCS teams have?

Tabzz: First off finding quality scrim partners as an amateur team is more difficult. And because usually your team are not fulltime players you play less premades than an LCS team. On top of that they have the advantage of playing against the region’s best teams every week for 10 weeks. So it’s a pretty big advantage.

As an amateur team you usually just scrim other amateur teams or bottom 4 LCS teams because often the top LCS teams think you aren’t worth their time and they won’t scrim you.


How did you feel after losing with Millenium and Disbanding? Did you expect to be playing and qualifying with another team?

Tabzz: I didn’t expect to find another team so quickly but in Millenium things were looking pretty grim even the last few weeks before the qualifier so I already had a feeling something like this would happen.


What steps did you take individually after losing? What did you view as your own personal strengths and weaknesses and how did you correct/exploit them? What do you feel is the weakest part of your game currently?

Tabzz: After losing I decided to become a free agent and talk to teams that I wanted to join. SNS picked me up a few days after. As a player I’m very strong mechanically and I can very easily exploit enemies mistakes. I have a lot of knowledge about the game and also theorycraft to find the best builds, runes and masteries possible. The weakest part of my play is currently predicting the enemy junglers moves but that’s something I’m working on.


Before you entered the tournament what were your expectations coming in and of the other teams, and how do you feel looking back? What do you feel were the biggest surprises and/or upsets of the event? Do you see any of the teams or players who did not qualify making it in the future?

Tabzz: I was just happy a team gave me another chance to prove myself and to get into LCS. I went there with the expectation to have fun and give it our best and I knew we had a pretty good shot, but I didn’t imagine actually qualifying. It was pretty unexpected since I was only in the team for two weeks at that point.


How did it feel to finally qualify into the LCS?

Tabzz: It feels like my hard work finally paid off.


Now that you have qualified, what are your plans for the next few months? The next year?

Tabzz: Well currently me and the team will move into a gaming house for the next season, do our best and try to get the best ranking possible in LCS to qualify for season 4 and World Championships.


How do you feel about the current meta, and what do you expect to see in the future?

Tabzz: I think the meta is always changing: there is no real meta set in stone for competitive play at all. Champion releases and balancing makes picks and strategies change all the time.


What do you feel are the largest differences between the NA and EU LCS in terms of skill and meta, and what are your thoughts on the asian regions? Any teams/players specifically?

Tabzz: NA’s midlaners are all very weak, and as a result their Ads play different, more lategame oriented champions like tristana and kogmaw to make up for it because their midlaners don’t make any plays in midgame. I feel the teamplay and individual skill of NA teams (especially midlaners) is not up to par with the other regions. NA does have some strong duolane players like Dlift and Nientonsoh.

The Asian region is incredibly good at teamplay and strategies and often have the individual skill to back it up aswell, which makes their teams very scary to play against.


How do you approach the AD role compared to AP Carry. How has your playstyle changed since the switch?

Tabzz: I play AD a bit more conservative than mid, more farming than killing oriented while still trying to outtrade and poke enemies and win lane that way. While in Mid I was a fan of all-in plays, I don’t like them as much in botlane.


What was the hardest thing to adjust to in the new role/tweaks you had to make?

Tabzz: The hardest thing to adjust to was getting used to a lane partner.


Who makes the calls on Lemondog? What is the shotcalling like and the overal mindset of the team going into a game?

Tabzz: Our midlaner and support make most of the calls, and the rest of the team feeds information all the time so we can take the best decisions possible.


What do you or the team do together besides play league? What do you like to do to relax in your downtime? Got any hobbies?

Tabzz: Personally I like to play piano, listen to music and watch anime in my free time, or relax and play with friends.


Who is your favorite champion and role to play? Who is your favorite AD champion?

Tabzz: My favourite midlaners were Fizz and Jayce and now my favourite AD’s are Ezreal, Caitlyn and Vayne.


What is one champion you hate playing against? Why?

Tabzz: Shen and TF, because I hate playing against globals. Blitz also deserves a mention because those hooks are so annoying. And zac for jumping on me from two screens away :(


What is a champion you love playing against?

Tabzz: Ezreal because I think it’s very skill oriented matchup.


Who do you think is the scariest lane to come up against of all of the LCS teams? Do you feel confident playing against them?

Tabzz: I’m most scared of Gambits botlane.


What are some champions that are underplayed or overlooked that you feel are still strong?

Tabzz: I’m not going to give away my secrets yet!


Any shoutouts?

Tabzz: I want to thank my team, MrRallez our friend and former teammate, and all our fans for supporting us.